Emergence Season 1 Episode 9: Where You Belong Recap

153941_0489_full

In episode 9, the winter finale of Emergence, Jo and her family fight to keep Piper out of the hands of the terrorist group that’s been bombing Auger Industries sites. In the process, they come to a mutual agreement about Piper’s standing in the family, Ed pursues a possible treatment for his cancer and a traitor in their midst is revealed.

Some huge events happened very quickly at the end of episode 8, including the death of Alan Wilkis at the hands of a new character, Helen, who accused him of taking something that didn’t belong to him, and Piper finding out the truth about what she is, but not succumbing to the fatal exception.

And Jo and Alex making out. Oh, darn it, that was still only in my head. They are definitely both thinking about it for real, though. Chemistry doesn’t lie. Stay away, new homewrecking FBI Agent Ryan Brooks, Jo’s taken.

Continue reading “Emergence Season 1 Episode 9: Where You Belong Recap”

Stumptown Season 1 Episode 8: The Other Woman Recap

Stumptown S1Ep8 Dex & Dex

This week on Stumptown, Dex faces old foes and old issues in order to solve a case for Sue Lynn Blackbird. Dex and Grey attempt to navigate around Grey’s relationship with Liz, while Liz and Ansel become better acquainted.

Recap

Dex sits at the bar and checks out a comics-style drawing of herself done by Liz, at Grey’s request, for Dex to use on her PI Yelp page. Grey thinks she needs tp jazz up the page to bring in hits and paying customers. Dex, as usual, rejects ideas that are new and related to Liz, despite Ansel’s enthusiastic approval. During the conversation, they find out that Liz played college soccer with Tobin Heath, a famous real life player for the Portland women’s  pro soccer team, the Portland Thorns FC. Ansel is a big fan of the team.

Sue Lynn enters and puts a stack of cash down in front of Dex as a retainer. She says that someone is harassing her using seemingly minor acts and she wants Dex to find out who. They’ve stolen her wallet, broken into her house, put a rotting fish on her windshield, and laid a honeytrap by sending a man to seduce her. He was just her type, but too perfect. Dex thinks she’s being paranoid. She’s barely finished saying it when a bomb explodes on the hood of Sue Lynn’s car. Dex sees Sue Lynn’s point and takes the job.

Continue reading “Stumptown Season 1 Episode 8: The Other Woman Recap”

Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review

Reprisal

Hulu’s new retro noir series Reprisal is a unique show filled unique characters. As such, it deserves a spot in their pantheon of shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways which highlight complicated characters in fictional worlds that just keep improving the more involved the viewer gets. Altered Carbon is on Netflix, not Hulu, but it’s another show with a similar viewing experience, where it takes several episodes for the characters and the world to click into place and the plot to really take off. Then the viewing experience just gets better and better, as we’re plunged into an immersive world, where everyone has an agenda and anything can happen.

Reprisal takes place in an alternate universe that’s not set in a particular time period, but isn’t the future. It’s set in a neon swingers’ punk gangster scene that combines the look of the late 1940s- early 60s Rat Pack with a few more modern conveniences like 2000s flip phones and 70s muscle cars. It’s gorgeous and lives by its own rules, as this show does in every way.

Continue reading “Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review”

Stumptown Season 1 Episode 7: November Surprise Recap

153676_1451_full

This week, Dex is hired by the State Senate campaign of Llewellyn Slocombe, a wealthy rancher who was supported by her nemesis Randall Tapper, until Dex cost him so much money that he had to withdraw his donation. Slocombe’s campaign manager, Vanessa, hires Dex to dig up dirt on his gay, but squeaky clean, political opponent, beloved Councilman Dan Gibson. Vanessa gets a little intense about her need to destroy Dan and offers Dex $50k to compromise her morals. Dex decides she can stomach getting involved in politics for that price. Then the building is evacuated because of an anthrax scare.

Politics is a truly cutthroat business.

Continue reading “Stumptown Season 1 Episode 7: November Surprise Recap”

Emergence Season 1 Episode 8: American Chestnut Recap

153811_8789-900x0_full

In episode 8 of Emergence, American Chestnut, Agent Peggy Carter’s ex-boyfriend Enver Gjokaj stops by for a visit with Jo. He clearly has a thing for no nonsense female law enforcement agents. I can’t fault his taste. However, having first seen Enver as one of the Dolls on Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, I always doubt his true identity and motives just a teensy bit. In this episode, he’s an FBI agent who’s investigating the murder that occurred in the final moments of episode 7. Feds can still be bought and blackmailed, so he’s going to have to earn my trust before I consider him safe to be around Jo, Mia, Piper and the gang.

In this episode we learn a lot about how Piper’s mind works and what it feels like to be her. She and Alex take a road trip back to the place that Piper escaped from, where both gain insight into her powers and past.

Continue reading “Emergence Season 1 Episode 8: American Chestnut Recap”

Emergence Season 1 Episode 7: Fatal Exception Recap

mv5bytbly2qwodqtytjkns00m2jmltg3ndqtmjq0n2fiodm1nzeyxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyndm0ntq5otk40._v1_sx1777_cr001777999_al_

In episode 7, Fatal Exception, Emily makes a move to take Jo’s place as Piper’s mom. She forces Alan Wilkis to help her as she slowly replaces Piper’s memories of Jo with memories of herself. Jo races to find Emily and Alan while protecting the people Emily threatens. Ed and Alex remain angry with Jo over the secrets she kept from them about Piper.

Jo is trying to avoid the Fatal Exception of having Piper learn that she’s an AI, since knowledge of the truth about what she is would set up a cascade failure in her brain. Or at least that’s the way she’s designed. The fact that Piper continuously moves beyond her programming and has already been gradually learning that she’s different suggests that she can evolve past the fatal exception.

Continue reading “Emergence Season 1 Episode 7: Fatal Exception Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 1: Hexagram 64 Recap

mv5bzwewnzq4nzutmwrmys00nddiltg5nditoda5m2m4ytm0zte2xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtaznju2njm1._v1_sx675_cr00675999_al_

Welcome back to the Japanese Pacific States, the American Reich and the Neutral Zone. In its final season, The Man in the High Castle focuses mainly on the Smith family, Chief Inspector Kido and a new West Coast resistance group, the Black Communist Rebellion. Juliana Crain, Wyatt Price, Robert Childan and Hawthorne Abendsen also have storylines that the show checks in on periodically. It’s still the same show, with a sweeping story that spans continents, worlds and the astral plane. Events shift between the existential difficulties of everyday people and the rivalries shared by world political powers, in an exploration of what makes us who we are and the war of good vs evil.

While there’s a lot to like about season 4, and some storylines and characters have satisfying conclusions, others are dropped with little or no explanation. Both the TV division of Amazon Prime and this show have had a major amount of staff turn over behind the scenes since the series began, and that shows in the final season, as it has since mid-season 2.

It’s still one of my favorite shows of all time. I’d give both season 4 and the complete series somewhere in the B+ to A- range if I had to give them grades. But it has to to go in the brilliant but flawed category, with so many other shows of the recent era. I can’t help but imagine what it could have been with a single showrunning team in charge for its entire run, instead of the fractured visions we have now.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 1: Hexagram 64 Recap”

The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Releases Soon- We Have Season 3 Recaps & Analysis

man-in-the-high-castle

There’s only one day left until The Man in the High Castle Season 4 is released on Amazon Prime Video on November 15th. That means it’s time to catch up on previous seasons of the streamer’s alternate history series in which the Nazis and the Japanese Empire won World War 2. We’ve got everything you need right here.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Releases Soon- We Have Season 3 Recaps & Analysis”

The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap

mv5bmje1ndy1nzk2of5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjc4mtmxnze40._v1_sy1000_cr0014441000_al_

Buckle up, Buttercups, it’s VA Day in the Reich and things are about to get crazy. Obergruppenführer John Smith has not just one, but two potential traitors over for dinner with the family, Joe Blake and Rudolph Wegener. He has ulterior motives with both, because when does he not? Juliana begins her job at the Nippon building and learns she’s working in the office of Trade Minister Tagomi.

Recap

It’s VA Day and every house in the neighborhood is proudly flying the swastika and stripes. Joe arrives at the Smith house with a bouquet of flowers for Helen and is introduced to the whole family, including the dog, Max. He mentions that he saw John in the parade earlier in the day. Thomas offers to show Joe around. It’s obvious that life couldn’t be better in the American Reich.

Over in the JPS, Juliana finishes dressing for her new job, just as Frank wakes up. She asks how the memorial service was and he says it was fake. She thinks they need to spend some time together, but he doesn’t want to make her late for the dojo, so she suggests they plan on dinner. Frank asks if he heard her on the phone earlier. As she’s walking out the door, Juliana says it was a wrong number.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 5: The New Normal Recap

mv5bmji2mtkzmte3ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwmtk4odaznze40._v1_

In episode 5, The New Normal, Juliana and Joe return to their home cities after their missions in the Neutral Zone. Each undergoes a debriefing and must try to navigate the tense atmosphere of their respective empires. Frank tries to put the pieces of his life back together after the deaths in his family and his aborted assassination attempt. Tagomi and Wegener try to complete their mission before getting Wegener out of San Francisco. Kido begins his investigation into the shooting of the crown prince, with the knowledge that, according to Japanese custom,  his life depends on bringing the shooter to justice.

Recap

The episode picks up with the ending of the previous episode, as shots ring out and the crown prince falls, desperately wounded. Tagomi and the princess rush to his side. Kido springs into action, shouting out orders to stop anyone from leaving, find the shooter and confiscate all cameras so that no one sees their beloved leader in his weakened state. Wegener is on the podium, watching the drama play out.

Frank has the gun in his hand, but hasn’t fired. The little Japanese boy standing next to him and the boy’s father both see the gun in Frank’s hand as all three scatter. Frank puts the gun in his coat pocket and at the same time the necklace he made for Juliana slips out of the pocket, onto the ground.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 5: The New Normal Recap”